Residential property – our approach to fees

In accordance with SRA Transparency Rules 2018, we have provided information below on our approach to fees and service for the sale and purchase of residential freehold or leasehold properties, mortgages and re-mortgages.

For information about other areas of work not covered by the SRA Transparency Rules 2018 please get in touch.

 

Greenwoods GRM Conveyancing services

We take pride in offering a bespoke service to our clients to meet your needs and expectations.  Our residential property lawyers are specialists in their field and will always act in your best interests.

Greenwoods GRM and its lawyers are regulated by an independent regulator, the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

We do not offer bulk conveyancing work, do not pay referral fees and will ensure you are given a clear estimate of fees and disbursements at the outset of your matter to enable you to make informed decisions about the transaction.

Buying your home

Our fees cover all the work* required to complete the purchase of your new home, including dealing with registration at HM Land Registry and dealing with the payment of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) if the property is in England, or Land Transaction Tax (LTT) if the property is in Wales.

LEGAL FEES AND DISBURSEMENTS

Fees

The amount of our fees will depend on the type of property you are buying and whether it is freehold or leasehold.  Leasehold purchases tend to be more complicated and therefore our fees will be higher.  VAT is payable on all our fees at the standard rate, currently 20%.

PURCHASE PRICE LEGAL FEES (FREEHOLD) LEGAL FEES (LEASEHOLD)
Up to £250,000 £1,500 + VAT £1,750 + VAT
£250,001 to £300,000 £1,750 – £2,250 + VAT £2,000 – £2,500 + VAT
£300,001 to £400,000 £2,000 – £2,500 + VAT £2,250 – £2,750 + VAT
£400,001 to £500,000 £2,250 – £2,750 + VAT £2,500 – £3,000 + VAT
£500,001 to £1,000,000 £3,000 – £3,500 + VAT £3,250 – £3,750 + VAT
£1,000,000 to £1,250,000 £3,750 – £4,500 + VAT £4,250 – £4,750 + VAT
£1,250,001 to £1,500,000 £4,500 – £5,000 + VAT £5,000 – £5,500 + VAT
£1,500,001 to £1,750,000 £5,000 – £5,500 + VAT £5,500 – £6,000 + VAT
£1,750,001 to £2,000,000 £5,500 – £6,000 + VAT £6,000 – £6,500 + VAT
Over £2,000,000 Will be based on a percentage of the purchase price Will be based on a percentage of the lease premium

Disbursements

These are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties. VAT will be payable on these costs. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process. You should expect to pay the following disbursements for your property purchase:

For example, if you are purchasing a freehold property for £550,000, the total legal fees and disbursements you may have to pay, excluding SDLT (see below), would be £4,371.60, calculated as follows:

Legal costs £3,000.00
VAT on legal costs @ 20% £600.00
Land Registry fee £270.00
Searches (estimated depending on location) £400.00
VAT on searches @ 20% £80.00
Bank transfer fee (including VAT) £21.60
Total: £4,371.60

If you are purchasing a leasehold property (either the assignment of an existing lease or the grant of a new lease for a premium) then the conveyancing process will take longer, as it will involve raising additional leasehold enquiries, reviewing the lease and the management pack provided by the landlord  and, in some cases where an existing lease is being assigned, negotiating with the seller’s solicitors to obtain the landlord’s consent to the transaction.  Consequently, our fees are higher for leasehold purchases. There will also be additional disbursements which are set out below:

  • Notice of Transfer fee: This fee (if payable) is set out in the lease. Often the fee is between £50 and £100 plus VAT.
  • Notice of Charge fee (if the property is to be mortgaged): This fee (if payable) is set out in the lease. Often the fee is between £50 and £100 plus VAT.
  • Deed of Covenant fee: This fee is usually set by the management company for the property (if there is one) and can be difficult to estimate. Often it is between £120 and £150 plus VAT.
  • Certificate of Compliance fee: To be confirmed upon receipt of the lease and can range between £100-£150 plus VAT.

Please note that these leasehold disbursements vary from property to property; not all of them will apply in every case, but some can occasionally be significantly higher than the ranges given above.  We can give you an accurate figure once we have sight of your specific documents. You should also be aware that ground rent and service charge are likely to apply throughout your ownership of a leasehold property. We can confirm the ground rent and the anticipated service charge as soon as this we receive this information.

For example, if you are purchasing a leasehold property for £550,000, the total legal fees and disbursements you may have to pay, excluding SDLT (see below), would be £5,391.60, calculated as follows:

Legal costs £3,500.00
VAT on legal costs @ 20% £700.00
Land Registry fee £270.00
Searches (estimated depending on location) £400.00
VAT on searches @ 20% £80.00
Bank transfer fee (including VAT) £21.60
Notice of transfer fee (including VAT) (estimated) £60.00
Notice of charge fee (including VAT) (estimated) £60.00
Deed of Covenant fee (including VAT) (estimated) £180.00
Certificate of Compliance fee (including VAT) (estimated) £120.00
Total: £5,391.60

STAMP DUTY LAND TAX (SDLT) OR LAND TRANSACTION TAX (LTT)

As well as the legal costs and disbursements outlined above, you may also have to pay SDLT or LTT, depending on the purchase price of your property.  SDLT and LTT are charged at different rates depending on the portion of the purchase price that falls into each rate band, the type of purchaser, and whether the property is freehold or leasehold.  There are different rules if you are buying your first home or own other properties.  You will get a discount if you are a first-time buyer and the purchase price is £500,000 or less.  If you own any other residential property anywhere in the world, then you will have to pay 3% on top of the normal SDLT rates, unless certain conditions apply.

You can calculate the amount of SDLT or LTT you will need to pay by using the calculator on HMRC’s website: https://www.gov.uk/stamp-duty-land-tax-calculators or if the property is in Wales by using the Welsh Revenue Authority’s website: https://beta.gov.wales/land-transaction-tax-calculator

STAGES OF THE PURCHASE PROCESS

The precise stages involved in the purchase of a residential property vary according to the circumstances but the key stages that are included are as follows:

  • Negotiating the sale contract and transfer deed with the seller’s solicitors;
  • Carrying out property searches;
  • Investigating the title to the property;
  • Raising pre-contract enquiries with the seller’s solicitors;
  • Reviewing the enquiries and results of the searches;
  • For leasehold property, reviewing the lease and landlord’s management pack;
  • Preparing a report on title and advising you of all relevant issues;
  • Reviewing your lender’s requirements and reporting to them if you are taking out a mortgage;
  • Exchanging contracts;
  • Requesting and receiving monies in from you, transmitting the purchase monies to the seller’s solicitors and completing the purchase;
  • For leasehold property, if applicable, liaising with the seller’s solicitors to obtain landlord’s consent to the purchase and completing the Deed of Covenant if required by the landlord;
  • Dealing with post-completion formalities including preparing and submitting the SDLT/LTT return to HMRC;
  • Preparing and submitting the Land Registry title application and reviewing the completed registration once it is received back from the Land Registry;
  • Sending title documents to you and/or your lender;
  • Taking your instructions and reporting to you throughout the transaction.

Mortgages

If you will be taking out a mortgage to assist with the funding of your purchase, we should make you aware that Greenwoods GRM is not on many of the high street lenders’ panels.  We do not undertake bulk residential conveyancing, as we aim to work with our clients on an individual basis to provide a personal and high-quality service.  Many mortgage lenders require solicitors on their panels to undertake a minimum number of transactions for the lender, and we do not, nor do we wish to, provide bulk factory conveyancing, so we cannot fulfil that criteria.  Not all lenders have such requirements, however, and we are on some lender’s panels.  If you are taking a mortgage, we recommend you check with your lender what their requirements are and whether they would agree to us acting for them.

HOW LONG WILL MY HOUSE PURCHASE TAKE?

How long it will take from your offer being accepted until you can move in to your home will depend on a number of factors. The average process takes between 8 – 12 weeks.

However, it can be quicker or slower, depending on the parties in the chain and whether the property is freehold or leasehold.  If you are a cash buyer purchasing a freehold property with no title issues, it can usually be done very quickly. However, if the property is leasehold, and/or you are in a chain with several buyers and sellers and there are issues with the survey, searches or mortgage, this could take significantly longer, at least 3 to 4 months.  In such a situation, additional fees may apply.

Selling your home

Our fees cover all the work* required to complete the sale of your home, including redeeming your mortgage if you have one.

LEGAL FEES AND DISBURSEMENTS

Fees

The amount of our fees will depend on the type of property you are selling and whether it is freehold or leasehold.  Leasehold sales tend to be more complicated and therefore our fees will be higher.  VAT is payable on all our fees at the standard rate, currently 20%.

SALE PRICE LEGAL FEES (FREEHOLD) LEGAL FEES (LEASEHOLD)
Up to £250,000 £1,250 – £1,750 + VAT £1,500 – £2,000 + VAT
£250,001 to £300,000 £1,500 – £2,000 + VAT £1,750 – £2,250 + VAT
£300,001 to £400,000 £1,750 – £2,250 + VAT £2,000 – £2,500 + VAT
£400,001 to £500,000 £2,000 – £2,500 + VAT £2,250 – £2,750 + VAT
£500,001 to £1,000,000 £2,500 – £3,000 + VAT £2,750 – £3,250 + VAT
£1,000,000 to £1,250,000 £3,250 – £3,750 + VAT £3,750 – £4,250 + VAT
£1,250,001 to £1,500,000 £4,000 – £4,500 + VAT £4,500 – £5,000 + VAT
£1,500,001 to £1,750,000 £4,500 – £5,000 + VAT £5,000 – £5,500 + VAT
£1,750,001 to £2,000,000 £5,000 – £5,500 + VAT £5,500 – £6,000 + VAT
Over £2,000,000 Will be based on a percentage of the purchase price Will be based on a percentage of the lease premium

If your property is unregistered, more work will be required, therefore additional fees may apply, depending on the complexity of the title.  If there is a mortgage to repay then we will charge an additional £100 plus VAT in respect of the work required in obtaining a redemption figure, repaying the mortgage and arranging for the lender to complete and file the discharge documentation at the Land Registry on receipt of full payment.

Disbursements

These are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties. VAT will be payable on these costs. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

If you are selling your freehold property the disbursements will be nominal, but will usually include Land Registry fees (to obtain up-to-date official copies of title) of £6.00 per title.  Depending on the amounts involved, we may also have to charge bank fees of £18 + VAT to send the sale proceeds to you/your lender on completion.

If you are selling your leasehold property, in addition to Land Registry fees of £6.00 per title, you will also have to pay the managing agents’ fees for providing a management pack.  This usually costs in the region of £400 – £700.  You may also have to pay your landlord’s fees for giving consent to the sale. These vary greatly depending on the landlord and the terms of the lease and can be anything from £750 plus VAT to £2,500 + VAT, occasionally more.

For example, if you are selling a freehold property for £550,000, with a mortgage to redeem, the total legal costs and disbursements you may have to pay would be £3,147.60, calculated as follows:

Legal costs £2,500.00
VAT on legal costs @ 20% £500.00
Mortgage redemption costs £100.00
VAT on Mortgage redemption costs @ 20% £20.00
Land Registry title document fees £6.00
Bank transfer fee (including VAT) £21.60
Total: £3,147.60

Please note that this total does not include any estate agency fees or other fees you may agree to pay to someone to advertise your house for sale and find a buyer.

STAGES OF THE SALE PROCESS

The precise stages involved in the sale of a residential property vary according to the circumstances but the key stages that are included are as follows:

  • Preparing the sale package of title information and other relevant paperwork;
  • Drafting and negotiating the sale contract and transfer deed with the buyer’s solicitors;
  • Replying to enquiries raised by the buyer’s solicitors;
  • For leasehold property, if applicable, liaising with the landlord’s solicitors to obtain landlord’s consent to the sale;
  • Exchanging contracts;
  • If you have a mortgage to repay, obtaining a redemption figure from your mortgage company and liaising with them regarding repaying the loan;
  • Completing the transaction, dealing with any post-completion formalities and sending the title documents to the buyer’s solicitors;
  • Taking your instructions and keeping you updated throughout the transaction.

HOW LONG WILL MY HOUSE SALE TAKE?

How long it will take from you accepting a buyer’s offer until your house sale completes will depend on a number of factors. The average process takes between 8 – 12 weeks.

However, it can be quicker or slower, depending on the parties in the chain and whether the property is freehold or leasehold.  If your buyer is a cash buyer and your property is a freehold property with no title issues, it can usually be done very quickly. However, if the property is leasehold and/or you are in a chain with several buyers and sellers and there are issues with the buyer’s survey, searches or mortgage arrangements, this could take significantly longer, at least 3 to 4 months.  In such a situation, additional fees may apply.

* OUR FEES ASSUME THAT:

  1. This is a standard transaction and that no unforeseen matters arise, including for example (but not limited to) a defect in title which requires remedying prior to completion or the preparation of additional documents ancillary to the main transaction;
  2. The transaction is concluded in a timely manner and no unforeseen complications arise;
  3. All parties to the transaction are co-operative and there is no unreasonable delay from third parties providing documentation;
  4. No title indemnity policies are required. Additional costs may apply if title indemnity policies are required;
  5. The title is registered at the Land Registry;
  6. Building regulations and planning permission have been obtained (where relevant);
  7. Crucial documents requested are provided in a timely manner and in a single bundle;
  8. If the property is leasehold, there are no provisions for a service charge retention.

Below is a link to the Legal Choices website which explains the house buying and selling process in more detail: https://www.legalchoices.org.uk/legal-choices/got-a-legal-issue/houses/im-buying-or-selling-a-house/

Re-mortgages

We may in some circumstances be able to act for you on a re-mortgage of your home, in which case we can provide a fee estimate based on your lender’s requirements.

Help to buy schemes/shared ownership/equity releases

If you are buying a property using one of the Government Help to Buy Schemes, a shared ownership property or an equity release scheme, we will not be able to act for you as we do not specialise in these areas.

Information correct as of December 2018

Get in touch with us

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